Make us your home page

For $25 an hour, they'll lie in bed all day — in the mall

Sylvia Olechowski and Kostas Stoilas are being paid $25 an hour to model this BoConcept bed.

Dalia Colón | Times

Sylvia Olechowski and Kostas Stoilas are being paid $25 an hour to model this BoConcept bed.

For the next two weekends, Sylvia Olechowski and Kostas Stoilas will have the easiest job in Tampa. The friends were selected from dozens of applicants who answered this craigslist ad:

Lay in a hip bed, on a memory foam mattress, all day — drink free coffee, read newspapers and magazines, just take it easy and get paid!!!

The catch?

The bed's in the middle of WestShore Plaza mall.

To promote its upholstered platform beds, BoConcept furniture store will pay Olechowski and Stoilas $25 an hour to lie in a queen-sized model from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this weekend and next. Their only job is to look as comfortable as possible. A store in the mall will supply loungewear.

Olechowski and Stoilas don't have to know anything about the bed. A stack of brochures will handle that. If passers-by want more info, they can head to the BoConcept store, where the custom beds are priced from $1,949.

Olechowski learned of the opportunity from her roommate, who knew she was looking for a job. The aspiring interior designer hopes this gig will lead to full-time work at BoConcept.

The ad requested a couple, so Olechowski, who is single, recruited her friend Stoilas, also unattached, to apply with her.

"He's the most fun guy to talk to. He's probably the only guy that I would want to sit in bed with for that long," said Olechowski, 27, of Tampa.

When she inquired in person with Stoilas, 31, also of Tampa, store owner Ray Priddle decided they had the right look to represent BoConcept's contemporary Danish furniture: progressive, likable.

"You don't have to know anything. You're just lounging. That's what you're being paid to do," Priddle told the pair during their, uh, training on Tuesday.

Olechowski has checked out a stack of library books to occupy herself, and she'll bring an iPod stocked with movies. Stoilas, a commercial real-estate broker prepping for MBA classes, plans to read accounting texts.

Friends are already planning to stop by.

"They're going to mock us more than anything," Stoilas said.

Added Olechowski, "They're probably going to take photos to put on Facebook."

BoConcept will supply beverages and a lounge chair, in case the "workers" need a break from all that reclining.

BoConcept has been in WestShore Plaza since 2006.

In the past, independently owned stores worldwide have come up with their own promotional stunts.

In Priddle's native London, staffers held an outdoor tea party on one of the world's longest sofas.

In New York City, a couple sat in bed in the Madison Avenue storefront.

The Washington, D.C., folks were hired to hang around a subway station in their pajamas.

Priddle toyed with the idea of setting up beds on a beach, as the store in Jacksonville did recently, but he decided the air-conditioned shopping center had more appeal. And by putting people in a bed in the mall, Priddle reasoned, he'll draw more attention.

Olechowski and Stoilas will split the $25 an hour. Both say they'll use it to pay bills.

Priddle joked that he'll pay them extra for falling asleep, because that would prove the mattress is comfortable.

"I'm a good spooner," Stoilas said with a laugh, "so we'll see what happens."

For $25 an hour, they'll lie in bed all day — in the mall 05/14/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 15, 2009 12:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  3. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]
  4. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark


    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  5. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors


    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]